EMERGING MARKETS-Latam stocks slip on Europe strikes, Brazil data

Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:15am EST

* Anti-austerity strikes in Europe rattle investors
    * Brazil economic activity slips for first month since March
    * Bovespa falls 1.46 pct

    By Asher Levine
    SAO PAULO, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Latin American stocks fell on
Wednesday as a wave of anti-austerity strikes in Europe and
weaker economic data in Brazil weighed on the outlook for global
growth.
    The MSCI Latin American stock index returned
the previous session's gains, losing 0.98 percent to 3,549.21. 
    Commodities firms drove Brazil's benchmark Bovespa index
 to its fifth decline in six sessions, while bottling
firm Femsa weighed on Mexico's bourse. 
    Risk appetite fell as millions of workers across Europe
protested against the spending cuts and tax hikes policymakers
have enacted to help tackle the region's debt
crisis. 
    Adding to concerns that a global economic recovery could
face hurdles, data on Wednesday showed that economic activity in
Brazil contracted in September for the first time since March.
    Guilherme Sand, a partner with Zenith Asset Management in
Porto Alegre, Brazil, called it a "gradual weakening of the
economy" and said the "optimistic outlook is not necessarily
being confirmed."
    Most analysts see the Brazilian economy recovering to about
4 percent growth in 2013 after a year of non-stop fiscal and
monetary stimulus. 
    Sand said that if those measures "aren't having the effect
they were designed to have, we could find ourselves in a very
challenging environment."
    Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index slipped 1.46
percent to 56,644.08, a level it has not closed below since
early September.
    A technical momentum indicator known as slow stochastics
approached a "bullish cross" in oversold territory however,
suggesting shares may rise in coming days.
    Shares of widely-traded commodities firms Vale 
and Petrobras slipped 2 percent and 2.5 percent,
respectively, contributing most to the index's loss.
    Shares of JBS SA rose 2.9 percent after the
world's biggest beef producer said on Wednesday it will open six
new slaughterhouses to increase its production capacity in
Brazil by 15 percent in the coming months. The company also
posted a third-quarter profit driven by its strong Brazilian
cattle business and recovering U.S. poultry operations.
  
    Airline Gol rose 1.8 percent after the company
said on Wednesday that it will structure its Smiles customer
loyalty program as a separate business unit by the end of the
year and decide on a possible public listing of the division in
April or May. 
    Units in BTG Pactual Group slipped 1.6 percent.
    The ability of Latin America's largest independent
investment bank to consistently chalk up healthy profits in a
tough market is debunking the "myth" among some investors that
its business model is inherently unstable, BTG Pactual's Chief
Executive André Esteves said on Tuesday. 
    Brazil's stock market will be closed on Thursday for a
national holiday, reopening on Friday.
    "The expectation is that we'll have a very tepid session
considering we have a lot of uncertainty and investors would
rather not leave themselves exposed," said Joao Pedro Brugger,
an analyst with Leme Investimentos in Florianopolis, Brazil.
    Mexico's IPC index snapped a two-day rally, returning
0.1 percent to 41,036.52.
    Bottling group Femsa lost 0.8 percent, contributing most to
the index's loss, while mining firm Grupo Mexico 
slipped 0.5 percent.
    Chile's IPSA index dropped for a sixth straight
session, losing 0.12 percent to 4,202.08, its lowest level since
late September.
    The Chilean central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on
hold at 5.0 percent on Tuesday, as expected, for the tenth
consecutive month. 
    Retailer Falabella lost 1 percent, contributing
most to the index's loss, while fertilizer, lithium and iodine
producer Soquimich shed 0.4 percent.

    Latin America's key stock indexes at 1454 GMT:
    
 Stock indexes                           daily %      YTD %
                          Latest          change     change
 MSCI LatAm                  3,549.21      -0.98       -0.5
                                                  
 Brazil Bovespa             56,644.08      -1.46      -0.19
                                                  
 Mexico IPC                 41,036.52       -0.1      10.68
                                                  
 Chile IPSA                  4,202.08      -0.12       0.59
                                                  
 Chile IGPA                 20,599.70      -0.15       2.33
                                                  
 Argentina MerVal            2,348.69      -0.22      -4.63
                                                  
 Colombia IGBC              14,073.43      -0.64      11.11
                                                  
 Peru IGRA                  21,024.94       -0.2       7.97
                                                  
 Venezuela IBC             371,977.47       0.02     217.83
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